From Jenin to Johannesburg: The Digital Intifada and Transnational Advocacy for Palestine

From Jenin to Johannesburg: The Digital Intifada and Transnational Advocacy for Palestine

Suraya Dadoo
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2854-8.ch005
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Social media has given Palestinians around the world a voice with which to confront flawed media coverage of the Israeli occupation. This chapter will explore the use and rise of internet-based information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social media to expose Israel's colonial project in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and advance pro-Palestine advocacy. The success and limitations of social media-based activism are examined, as well as the Israeli government's repressive response to these advocacy efforts. While social media has successfully challenged some deeply-entrenched media stereotypes about the Israeli occupation, it is a crucial tool for advancing Palestine activism globally. The chapter concludes that social media campaigns must be integrated with traditional advocacy, lobbying and grass-roots activism to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and achieve a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.
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On November 29, 1947 the United Nations (UN) - without the consent of the indigenous population - voted in favour of dividing Palestine into two states: a Palestinian state and a Jewish state (with Jerusalem to be administered by the UN). Although the leadership of the indigenous Palestinian population rejected the UN Partition Plan, the leaders of the Zionist Movement in Palestine unilaterally declared the independence of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. The borders of this state were never specified.

On that same day, fighting broke out with several Arab states. To Israelis, this was a War of Independence, and to Palestinians this was the Nakba (catastrophe). The Arab-Israeli War followed, and lasted until 1949. There were over 860 000 indigenous Palestinians living in the territory that was to become the state of Israel. The creation of Israel resulted in the forced displacement of over 750 000 Palestinians and the depopulation of 400 Palestinian villages (Pappé, 2006). The large-scale expulsion of Palestinians began long before the armies of neighbouring Arab states became involved. Between 250 000 and 350 000 Palestinians had already been expelled from their homes by Zionist para-militaries between the passage of the UN Partition Plan in November 1947 and Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948 (Khalidi, 2006, p.131).

The majority of displaced Palestinians ended up in refugee camps in the area west of the Jordan River (the West Bank), the Gaza Strip, and neighbouring Arab states. By 1949, the new state of Israel comprised 78% of historic Palestine. Israeli forces ended up seizing a significantly larger state, compared to the UN Partition Plan that apportioned 52% of historic Palestine to the Jewish state.

In June 1967, Israel militarily conquered the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, and the Golan Heights in Syria. UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed on 22 November 1967, ordered Israel to immediately withdraw from these occupied territories.

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